Diabetes: short-term intensive metabolic intervention achieves sustained drug-free remission

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Findings from a new trial suggest an intensive metabolic strategy delivered over two to four months may induce remission of type 2 diabetes (T2D).

For the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 83 individuals with T2D were randomised to an eight-week or 16-week intensive metabolic intervention, or standard diabetes care. The metabolic intervention included a personalised exercise and meal plan that reduced calorie intake by 500-750 per day. These study participants met regularly with a nurse and dietitian to track their progress, and received oral medications and insulin at bedtime. Diabetes drugs were then discontinued in the intervention groups and participants were followed for hyperglycaemic relapse.

Half of the participants in the eight-week intervention group achieved normoglycaemia versus 3.6 per cent of controls. At 16 weeks, 70.4 per cent of participants in the intervention group and 3.6 per cent of controls achieved normoglycaemia.

Twelve weeks after completion of the intervention, 21.4 per cent of the eight-week group compared to 10.7 per cent of controls, and 40.7 per cent of the 16-week group compared to 14.3 per cent of controls, met HbA1C criteria for complete or partial diabetes remission.